My friend, Mike Morrell, sent me a complimentary review copy of Speaking of Jesus, a new book by Carl Medearis.
I dove into eagerly, as I've deeply appreciated Medearis' previous writings, and speaking of Jesus is somethign I love to do!
The subtitle, "the art of not-evangelism" intrigued me. I teach evangelism courses for FLAME (nontraditional students pursuing ordination in the Wesleyan Church) and wondered how "speaking of Jesus" fits with "not-evangelism"
Basically, Medearis says the Gospel is a person -- Jesus. It is not a program. It is not a worldview. It is not a belief system, a doctrine or a creed. The Gospel is Jesus, pure and simple.
If we focus on Jesus in our conversations with unbelievers, rather than trying to defend Christianity, we'll make far better progress, Medearis suggests. He speaks from the unusual perspective of having lived among Muslims in Beruit for several years.
"Muslims respect Jesus," he observed, "they just don't like Christians."
I appreciate how this book reminds us that our faith should be a vibrant relationship with a living Being, rather than dead religion. At times, Medearis takes it to the edge, when it comes to being a "friend of sinners." But I wonder, where would we find Jesus if he showed up at our town in the flesh?
Everyone deals with financial setbacks from time to time. Money doesn't buy happiness - -but the lack of it can sure bring a lot of stress. My father, talking about the lean years of the Great Depression, said they pinched pennies so tight, Abe Lincon hollered! George Washington has hollered in my hands a few times!
When facing hard times financially, it pays to remember these are the only times we have. We need to keep a proper perspective. Here are some important reminders as we face adversity:
1. God is far bigger than the problem. If a financial crisis looms like a mountain, remember -- God is the mountain mover! There's no challenge too great for the Almighty. There is not one situation beyond His ability. Instead of telling God how big your problem is, tell your problem how big God is!
2. Hard times teach us wisdom. Difficult days force us to stop and evaluate where we are, what we're doing, and why we're doing it. Nobody becomes wise with ease. It takes trouble t…
I was ordained July 10, 1987, when General Superintendent, Dr. Earle Wilson, laid hands on me, shook my hand, and thundered, "Take thou authority to preach the Word!"
I was thinking about this a while back, and wondered how far back I could go with the succession of my ordination. So, I did a little research.
* I was ordained by Earle Wilson
* Earle Wilson was ordained by Pilgrim Holiness General Superintendent, William Neff.
* William Neff was ordained by the Pilgrim founder, Seth Rees * Seth Rees was ordained by Nazarene founder, Phineas Bresee (Note -- Rees was initally "recorded" as a Quaker, because they did not ordain their ministers. Later, he moved over to the newly formed Church of the Nazarene, and I am taking a leap by assuming that when he became a Nazarene, they ordained him. Rees was certainly worked beside Bresee as his contemporary.)
* Phineas Bresee was ordained by Methodist Bishop, Levi Scott
* Levi Scott was ordained by Elijah Hedding. …